Supervisors Briefed on School Curriculum Improvements

On Monday Dr. Lisa Floyd, Clarke County Public Schools Director of Curriculum and Instruction told the Board of Supervisors that new text books and a more focused attention on teacher evaluation guidelines are just part of the school division’s initiatives for improving public education in Clarke County.

Floyd’s presentation highlighted:

Testing

Implemented an Algebra Readiness assessment to better prepare teachers in meeting student needs. Training regarding the use of that data is ongoing.

SOL assessments are moving online at the elementary level. Student training progresses throughout the year through visits to practice test sites. Teacher training progresses – they are exposed to tools students have access to, how to monitor student time on task, and proper exiting of online assessments. Online writing takes places this February.

Special Education

The IEP Plus program is in training phase with implementation expected for the 2012-2013 school year. The program will allow teachers access to IEPs online, improved ability to track student goals, and assist with state reporting.

Math Standards

Alignment of New Math Standards K-12 – Teachers attended the Virginia Department of Education Math Institutes to learn about the changes in math standards, the impact these standards have on the state assessments, and the focus teachers should have as they deliver instruction. These teachers provided training to their colleagues during our School Improvement Day.

PALS

Renewed focus on Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) at the elementary level. A PALS representative provided training on Data Analysis of our PALS data. A second training was held to discuss the importance of teaching Concept of Word and strategies to assist that training. A third training is scheduled for our next School Improvement Day targeting Progress Monitoring of students.

“We brought trainers in from the University of Virginia to assist us with our PALS implementation,” Floyd said. “PALS is a powerful tool for helping us to better understand where kids are in their learning. We’re excited to watch how it filters down through the grade levels.”

Benchmark Assessments

Benchmark Assessment Initiative – Interactive Achievement is used division wide to administer benchmark assessments as a means to monitor instruction to students. As benchmarks are linked to pacing guides, this has initiated discussion about consistency of pacing guides across buildings. Training regarding administering benchmarks and use of the reporting tools available is on-going. This looks different in each of the buildings. The elementary level has begun the process of administering benchmark assessments only. The middle school uses the tool for benchmarks and classroom assessments. Use of the reporting tool varies. The high school has principal led discussions regarding use of the reporting tool to make instructional decisions.

Teacher Evaluation Guidelines

A Teacher Evaluation Committee has been created to address the Virginia Department of Education’s new guidelines. Divisions across the state are required to implement a teacher evaluation tool that addresses the new guidelines for the 2012- 2013 school year. Our committee

Improvement Plan. Our initial goal was to have something we could pilot for second semester, allowing time to tweak it before the official roll out.

Floyd said that CCPS is currently working to adapt its Teacher Evaluation Guidelines so that the guidelines meet state requirements but also meet local evaluation goals.

Gifted

Clarke County is a member of the Northern Virginia Council for Gifted & Talented Education (NVCGTE) – This group has been working to address the new Virginia Department of Education gifted guidelines that must be implemented for the 2012-2013 school year. We have a committee that is reviewing the original plan, the new guidelines, and is working on creating a new plan that keeps us in compliance with the guidelines, addresses needs of students, and is manageable by staff.

Textbook

Math textbooks K-5, Algebra I and Algebra II textbooks have been reviewed. A purchase order has been submitted. Training regarding use of the textbooks, CDs, and online features of the materials have been scheduled.

“The new geometry textbooks have already been purchased and are being used,” Floyd said. “Algebra books have been ordered.” Floyd said that because of changes in state guidelines for math, CCPS teachers will be receiving additional instruction along with the new math books.

Floyd also told the Supervisors that the school division is working to create a division-wide standard for improving teacher performance.

“We are currently working on a standard, division-wide teacher improvement plan,” Floyd said. “We expect to roll out the plan by the second semester.”

Comments

  1. footballfan says:

    Would rather see money spent on online materials as to textbooks. Downloading material is happening now. The money would be better spent on this than on expensive textbooks. Let’s get ahead of the curve rather than behind.

  2. Fly on the wall says:

    So…would you have to county schools drop some coin on e-readers for the students to do that? I agree that online textbooks and such are a good resource to have, but – if the schools can’t afford the devices, then those resources only benefit them that can afford such devices.

    Additionally – “Training regarding use of the textbooks, CDs, and online features of the materials have been scheduled.” Seems like online resources are gonna be used. Read before you post.

  3. before the county spends money on all the electronic measures and touts all the “progress” they are planning, they should first ensure that all of the residents have AFFORDABLE and RELIABLE access to high speed internet. I would be happy to download ebooks etc myself for my kids, but in order to do that I would need high speed internet which is NOT an option where I live in the county (satellite just does not cut it either speed wise or in affordability). Maybe the supervisors should mandate to the local cable company the next time their license/permission, whatever it is called, comes up for renewal that cable should be required for all residences of Clarke County. Oh wait, that would be in the interest of Clarke residents, nevermind.

  4. Sara Clark says:

    I find it interesting that the same person lead another small school division to spend over half a million dollars on the Internet infrastructure to support online testing at the same time they were cutting back on instructional positions. That person was immediately demoted when the board discovered they had been misled about the state requiring online testing. Congratulations Clarke County on your new hire. Good luck if you think spending big bucks on technology and automated systems will fix things. It worked so poorly in that person’s former division, they’ve been taken over in the worst level of school improvement.

    • Sara, Shame on you! I’m from the shore and still live here. I heard you posted and had to read for my self. My children went to Northampton Co schools until we realized that they were not getting the education they deserve. We now drive them an hour one way to school. Your comment is just another classic example of how we bury our heads in the sand and ignore what is right in front of us. When there is a problem we blame those “come here’s” for bringing their foriegn lifestyle to our cherished way of life. The problems in our schools can’t be of our making now can they? The problems in our schools and community must be “those people” who are the problem. We all know who “those people” are. Your comment is inappropriate and inaccurrate and slanderous. Shame on you. You forgot to mention how the schools had been having problems for years. We’re not going to talk about the money problems where the county had to step in. Where were you when it was spelled out that the schools were at risk to be taken over by the state if we didn’t make changes? It is certainly not new news. Ask any teacher, they’ll tell you. But of course it will never happen because “we are the Eastern Shore and we are special”. You forgot to mention that the school drove out many other talented administrators and teachers. You forgot to share our little secrets of how a teachers may behave inappropriately with students on more than one occassion. How our school board is ineffective and is more focused on maintaining relationships or finding jobs for their children. You know as do I that there was a push to clean up our schools. There was a push to encourage teachers to get better at teaching. There was a push to improve how we educate our children. Well, the teachers pushed back and the few sabatoged the many. Stop crying. Stop blaming others and be part of the solution, not part of the problem. When my house sells, I’m leaving. Leaving a place that I love. We used to have great schools with Dr. Goldstein. I hope the new superintendent can clean up the mess that WE keep making but I doubt it. Stop embarrassing yourself. Stop embarrassing us and if nothing else keep your opinion on the Shore. Put your comments in the Two Cents worth where people will know who you are. It is people like you who make us look bad. Merry Christmas.